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Diablo 4’s monetization isn’t like Diablo Immortal, Blizzard says

But fans are still wary of a full-price game’s microtransaction plans

title art for Diablo Immortal showing a lone figure hoisting a sword above a crowd of other warriors Image: NetEase/Blizzard Entertainment

For those worried about what and how much Diablo 4 will cost, a Blizzard Entertainment community lead said on Sunday it will be nothing like the rather … aggressive monetization behind Diablo Immortal, which launched two weeks ago.

Diablo 4, which will launch sometime in 2023, will be a “full price game built strictly for PC/console audiences,” Blizzard’s Adam Fletcher wrote on Twitter. Additional monetization will come from “optional cosmetic items & eventually full expansions.”

In other words, somewhat like Diablo 3, which got one $40 expansion in 2014 (Reaper of Souls) that was followed by a $15 premium DLC pack, in 2017, that brought back the Necromancer class from Diablo 2. Diablo 3 did not have paid cosmetics.

Still, Diablo 4 sounds like a far cry from the business model of Diablo Immortal, a game primarily designed for mobile devices but which also launched (in beta) on Windows PC on June 2. That game is free-to-play, though the ability to use real money to purchase character progression — particularly endgame progression — has rankled many fans as a pay-to-win game. Last week, YouTube’s Bellular News estimated that it would take 10 years or cost $110,000 for players to acquire enough “Legendary Gems” to fully maximize their character and its build.

Already, the wary fans of the Diablo subreddit are bracing for a battle pass in Diablo 4, which Fletcher didn’t mention, but which many say they don’t want. Battle passes typically award cosmetics and other items as players move through the XP tiers — progression folks can advance or skip with a premium purchase of the pass or a number of levels in it.

And as far as the premium cosmetic model that Fletcher proposed on Sunday, others are suspicious of that, too. “‘Its not P2W, it’s just P2LookGood’ concept should NOT be normalized in the genre where the character customization and loot are the major parts of the gameplay,” said one commenter.

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